14 September 2012

Giorgio Bettinelli, Mh Way

Owning a Vespa doesn't end there. Like Africa, a Vespa creeps into your soul and doesn't let go. Eventually the wanderlust takes over, you hanker for riding the long road to nowhere slowly and dream of becoming like the legend Giorgio Bettinelli.

It is probably easier to list the countries; Giorgio did not visit raking up over a million kilometers from Rome to Saigon, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, from Melbourne to Cape Town, Chile to Tasmania and around the whole of China. Sailing over deserts with no roads and along jungle paths, crossing the Equator 9 times with no major incident except one close call with death. Somewhere in the Congo, Giorgio was stopped by guerrillas, judged and sentenced to death as a government spy. But that didn't stop Giorgio.

It is when you finally put your feet up that life tends to catch up. Sadly after putting his feet up for 4 years in Jinghong, China, on the banks of the Mekong River with his beautiful wife Yapei, Giorgio departed for the windy road in the sky. Yes at a young age of 53 on 16 September 2008 after 16 years of travelling around the world on a Vespa with a guitar and a backpack, he was called to ride up there on a Vespa.

If anyone would like to give me a present, how about any of Giorgio’s 5 books:
  • In Vespa Da Roma a Saigon (On a Vespa from Rome to Saigon)
  • In Vespa oltre l'orizzonte (On a Vespa beyond the horizon)
  • Brum Brum (Any Vespa lover would know this sound)
  • Rhapsody In Black In Vespa dall’Angola allo Yemen (On a Vespa from Angola to Yemen)
  • La Cina in Vespa (China on a Vespa)
We members of the Posers Scooter Club sure do dream and long for the spirit of Giorgio Bettinelli as we yearn for the open road on our Vespa.

When asked what he did if his Vespa ever broke down, he replied "You wait. Someone comes, someone helps. A car, a truck, a camel, a day. Someone comes, someone helps."

Buon Viaggio Giorgio Bettinelli (1955-2008), Brum Brum


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